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Sports & Recreation

The Summit, Grand Prairie, Texas

the_summitLocated in Grand Prairie, Texas, The Summit is an adult fitness, recreation and entertainment center. Originally the site of a city park, the 57,000-square-foot building features multiple exterior canopies covered by perforated panels from McNICHOLS Co. More than 11,000 square feet of 1,000 individual perforated panels were applied using two product styles: 1/4-inch-thick with 1/4-inch round holes on 1/2-inch staggered centers and 1/8-inch-thick with 3/16-inch round holes on 5/16-inch staggered centers. The panels range in size from 3 1/2 by 4 feet to 1 by 3 1/2 feet.

The sunshades were a response to the Texas heat that reaches the mid-90s F and could create an extremely high power bill. In addition, the project achieved LEED Gold certification. The solar orientation of the site posed a challenge, notes Stephen Springs, AIA, project manager with architect Brinkley Sargent.

With energy efficiency as a goal, the architect wanted to produce a shadow over the northwest façades at the sun's highest point of the year, and to maintain the shadow as late in the day as possible to control the heat load based on solar angles

In addition to the solar concern, the design team had to consider the nature of the activities at The Summit. Open at night, the facility design incorporates decorative lighting that accents the shade structures, so the design of the system needed to complement this lighting.

Many of the resulting exterior canopies are up to two stories in height and 23 feet wide while surprisingly light and airy in appearance. To install the panels, Johnston Products drilled figure eight key holes at various points along the smooth framed edge, hanging the panels on pin heads welded to the channel steel column. The method allows the panels to be removed easily for cleaning and maintaining the lighting system positioned within the trellis. In another variation on the design theme, the perforated metal panels atop the canopy are curved on a slight radius and installed at a 45-degree angle, adding another dimension to the aesthetics and a practical means of reinforcing the material.

Architect: Brinkley Sargent, Dallas

Installer: Johnston Products, Dallas

Perforated metal panels: McNICHOLS Co., Tampa, Fla., www.mcnichols.com